Monday, January 20, 2014

What a Week pt. 2: My life back, SXSW picking up, Craigslist, Prednisone Side effects

So Tuesday night I finally managed to fall asleep after the sun was already coming up, kept up by my damn cough which of course made me throw up again. Fuck. BUT relief was 5 minutes and $5 away...!

As I said I was bouncing off the walls at Ocean of Stars rehearsal that night. Was very good to have sax player Derek Rodrigues back in the mix. But we're still trying to figure a way to get him prominent in the mix without depriving him of his effects pedals... we'll work on that this week.

Wednesday night I felt the immediate side effect of the prednisone: sleeplessness. Again, I was up until well after the sun came up, and managed about three hours before I had to get up and get to work, smoothing out rough spots on Adrian and the Sickness music. I also needed at some point to refresh Deann Rene music for the next day. Fuck. Not enough time, not enough time.

I tried to take two naps to catch up on the 5 hours of sleep I had managed in the previous 48 hours, but no dice whatsoever. Thankfully the prednisone was keeping me going, tho I was getting a little loopy by now...

AATS rehearsal again went very well, good to go for Dallas on Saturday. Headed straight to Darwin's on 6th Street to play bass with Sean Evan and his Very Handsome Band. That went well as well, and good to play 6th Street at a venue which has an actual stage, actual lights, and an actual PA \m/,

Good times, but a blur. During the day I called the doc back to see if I took some kind of sleep aid if it would play nice with the prednisone. I couldn't keep up this skeleton sleep schedule. He said YES it would play nice, especially as I take the steroids in the morning. Thank Crom for that.

Thursday night got my first full night of sleep in what seemed like forever. Was good to go Friday for Deann Rene rehearsal, even tho I rolled in apologetic that I'd had no time whatsoever to work on her music. Still sounded good, tho some songs I couldn't remember what they were until we started playing them...!

But SXSW is picking up for Ocean of Stars. I'd already touched base with Heath at Red Eyed Fly about getting OoS on the annual Tuesday SXSW kickoff party, which I've been going to for 12 or 13 years and have never played. He said he would find us a slot. YAY!

Then en route to Deann Rene rehearsal got an out-of-the-blue message from my friend Jason Kottwitz, something about 'I have a big opportunity for you, call me immediately at this number.'

I responded asking him to verify that his account wasn't just hacked, heh. It wasn't. Called him and he said that Scott from Small Stone Records had been offered an official SXSW showcase after refusing to participate this year. And was looking for bands. Looks like I got Ocean of Stars an official SXSW showcase event, and it just fell into my lap. We didn't even need to apply. YES!!!

Keep y'all posted on that.

That night the Deann Rene show at Baker Street went very well, tho I still hadn't had time to go over any of her music.... I saw a window of opportunity to take an afternoon nap for the first time in many days, and knew I needed the sleep. It worked, and I felt great.

Deann Rene Band at Baker Street

My impression of Grumpy Cat: "I am feeling the music. I hate it." hahahahaha!

 Fun show making good music with great people.

NOW: side effects of prednisone. Sleeplessness, which I immediately countered. But also I am finding myself increasingly confrontational with little tolerance for bullshit. But confrontational in a "Let's sit down and discuss this matter, and here are all the holes in your theory. Discuss."

Let's just say I had a very in depth discussion on FB with someone I've never met about chemtrails. While I have no doubts that wx modification and sprayer planes exist, to point to every vapor trail in the sky and say 'That is a CHEMTRAIL' is fucking retarded. There I said it.

So I was having a rather involved (and civil) point/counterpoint discussion with a complete stranger about a very touchy subject for some people (ie ME. Every time I post a pic of the sky some motherfucker responds 'Chemtrails!'). Read a book on cloud formation and atmospheric science and get back to me. Actually, DONT. I will keep looking up as I do every day of my life. If I *finally* see something that looks amiss, I will report my findings here. Until then you are talking to someone who used to watch the Weather channel as a kid and can identify most cloud types by name.

ANYWAY. About this time I was also having responses to my Craigslist ad looking for session work.

One response was a guy who needed bass on some demos. Met him Friday night, and we'll be working together.

Another was congratulating my on getting #5 Bassist last year for the Austin Music Awards (listed in title of my ad to get attention). That was nice, he got #5 several years back and wanted to e-high five me. Right back atcha man!

Another was a new player in town looking for advice in making a dent in the music community here. I gave him some VERY useful advice, mainly along the lines of Let your playing do the talking for you, Play in as many bands and musical styles as you can, etc etc etc. He was very appreciative. Happy to help, man!

So Saturday was the first of many shows on bass with Adrian and the Sickness, Gas Monkey Bar & Grill which I had never heard of but was suddenly hearing great things about, all of which were true.

Loaded up Vincent Van Go in early afternoon and headed north in not-too-bad-for-Austin-on-a-Saturday traffic. First stop? CZECH STOP in West TX, just north of Waco.

Adrian and the Czechness! Adrian Conner, yours truly, Armando Reyes

Riding shotgun with Our Fearless Leader, the incomparable Adrian Conner

Arrived at venue just after dark for an early set. Holy shit, the place was awesome! Already crowded, huge stage 5 feet high, great sound system and legit lights. Bring it on!

I did not use my wireless that night as (a) if I jumped offstage I wouldn't be able to get back on and (b) there was some weird interference causing it to cut out when I oriented myself to certain points of the compass. Weird. In fact it's especially odd that there have been only two venues where I've had those kinds of problems with my wireless unit: both of them in Dallas. Coincidence? I think not. CHEMTRAILZZZ!

Anyway, we rocked ass for our early one hour set. I had some rough spots but in general we knocked em dead. Great set with great players on a great stage for a great crowd!

"Armando, stop taking pictures. We need to play!" Heh

Offstage with gear stowed before we usually roll into a venue. Stayed for two other bands, had a great time and hung out with good people.

Vincent Van Go packed up and pointed back south by 11pm. We usually aren't even onstage yet. Wow! Early shows are awesome!!!

Back in town, gear transferred from Vincent Van Go to their respective vehicles, and I was home by 2:45, the usual time I get home from playing in town shows...! And we drove 3+ hours from Dallas.
Again, early shows rule!!!

A great end to a long week. I looked forward to having an entire Sunday completely off. And by 'completely off' I mean 'catching up on all the cleaning I haven't had energy or time for in 3 weeks'. ROCK N ROLL.

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